As a home schooling parent, cooking with my kids and their friends has been of interest to me. Combining some fun with raising their awareness around the issues of sustainable food and social justice has been the goal.
My first foray was to take my daughter Stella to Chiapas Mexico last winter to visit Zapatista communities and Fair Trade farming cooperatives. (Story to come soon). More recently my kids and I have been harvesting wild apples and pears from abandoned orchards in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore next to our farm. It’s been a good year. Thus far we’ve been making pies, applesauce and freezing the surplus for future creations.
Then this past week I hosted a group of 17 kids from our home school group for a class on canning apple sauce. With the permission of Tom Porter, we raided his orchard with buckets and kids on a bright and warm October morning. Back at my place we sorted, cooked, pureed and finally canned our days labor. Going from tree to jar was a bit much for the kids and they were losing steam and interest by the end. I’ve committed to doing this once month with them so I’ll have to adjust either the scale or my ambition next time.
Next on the menu: Canned bean soup, the perfect fall comfort food.